A tweet by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice President Professor Welshman Ncube has torched a storm on social media after some interpreted it to mean that he was pushing for a coalition with former Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe.
Ncube, a former Minister of Industry and Commerce, said the opposition had been losing ground in Matabeleland North over the years and suggested that this evaluation must inform the CCC’s strategic options ahead of the 2023 elections. He said in a statement seen by Pindula News:
In Mat North in 2000 we got 74% of the vote & all the then 7 seats. ZANU PF 21%. Others 5%. By 2018 our percentage share had nosedived to 38%. ZANU PF up to 39%. Others 23%. This is the harsh reality that must inform our strategic options for 2023. I rest my case.
His remarks come barely weeks after he reportedly held a meeting with Khupe who was recently fired from MDC-T led by Senator Douglas Mwonzora. Khupe claims that the MDC-T split and that she leads another faction.
In a series of Twitter posts, Alex Tawanda Magaisa, a former Chief of Staff in the Office of former Prime Minister, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, seemed to be responding to Ncube’s reasoning. Pindula News presents Magaisa’s posts:
Politicians must work hard to win the hearts & minds of people who support their rivals instead of courting the rivals hoping for easy pickings. They will never be your people. Marriages of convenience between political elites create fiefdoms & only end in heartbreak and tears.
You hear some saying X has people, therefore we need X. It’s an admission of failure that you can’t win them from X. What are you doing to win them? Are they permanently tied to X? Why are you failing to win them? If you can’t win them then you don’t deserve to lead!
Magaisa’s remarks were echoed by journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono who said the proposition was an insult to supporters. Pindula News presents his post:
The idea that Thokozani Khupe is the main ingredient in Matebeleland for the opposition to win is an insult to people of that region. It is stockholder politics that assumes that there are no young people in Matebeleland capable of being leaders and attracting votes!
Some CCC supporters who commented on the matter suggested that the Nelson Chamisa-led political outfit must not work with Khupe as she cannot be trusted after she allegedly worked with the ruling ZANU PF to dismantle MDC Alliance which Chamisa led before the rebranded to CCC.
A Twitter handle, ZANU PF PATRIOTS @zanupf_patriots, allegedly operated by the ruling ZANU PF, said “@DrThoko_Khupe will definitely join CCC, they desperately need her Mark this tweet, Zvenyu zvepa Twitter hazvina kana basa on this one.”
Meanwhile, Chamisa seems to be in support of any coalition. Responding to a question which demanded to know if “rotten rejected tomatoes (can) be in the same basket with Bananas?” Chamisa said:
A proper national basket carries all types of fruits. Its rainbow-ness is what makes it truly national and natural a home for all!
When one of his followers posted saying, “Welshman Welshman comrade, he is raising some serious emotions,” Chamisa said, “All is well.” He added:
Everything (is) under control. Relax! The future is exciting! Watch the space.
The ruling ZANU PF has been in power since 1980 and the opposition has tried a number of ways to dislodge the party in failure.
MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai came close to power in 2008 when he defeated then president, the late Robert Mugabe but failed to reach the minimum required threshold, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
In 2018, Chamisa who was leading an opposition Alliance (MDC Alliance) lost narrowly to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He claims he won the election.
Political analysts have been saying a fragmented opposition will not dislodge ZANU PF as votes will be shared.